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Sat August 08 2020

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Final Tideway TBM sails in to London

13 Jul The tunnel boring machine (TBM) set to create the final 5.5km stretch of London’s new super sewer has arrived in the capital.

Selina sails up the Thames
Selina sails up the Thames

TBM Selina has been delivered to Tideway’s Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey, where she will be lifted onto the site before beginning her underground journey toward Abbey Mills Pumping Station later in the year.

A total of six TBMs are being used to create the £5bn Thames Tideway sewer (with two already finished tunnelling), meaning Selina is the final machine to begin work – but she is also the deepest.

Beginning her journey more than 60 metres below the ground, Selina will tunnel on a slight decline toward the pumping station in east London.

Maurice Gallagher, deputy delivery manager for the eastern section of the project, said: “To welcome Selina to site is a great moment for Tideway – and for London. Although there is much work still to be done, her arrival in the capital means we’re on the final stretch – and closer than ever to a cleaner, healthier River Thames.”

Selina was delivered to Chambers Wharf using a giant vessel called the Skylift 3000, having travelled 800km over the water from the port of Kehl in Germany to the banks of the Thames in central London.

The eastern section of the tunnel is being built by CVB JV, a joint venture of Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projects and Bachy Soletanche.

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Tideway, the client organsiation, has committed to using the river to transport construction materials where possible – transporting Selina by water instead of by road prevented around 100,000km of road transport, Tideway said.

Each of Tideway’s six TBMs is named after women from history associated with the local area. Selina is named after Dr Selina Fox, who founded the Bermondsey Medical Mission in 1904.

Tunnelling predominantly through chalk, TBM Selina will head north east towards the already-built Lee Tunnel, which links Abbey Mills Pumping Station to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.

Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey is a key site for the Tideway project – the launch site of Selina, but also the site at which TBMs Ursula (currently en route from Battersea) and Annie (soon to begin her journey from Greenwich) will finish.

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